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LookoutSF

deer

Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Why Planes Crash: An Accident Investigator's Fight for Safe Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By David Soucie, Ozzie Cheek
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Boarding an airplane strikes at least a small sense of fear into most people. Even though we all have heard that the odds of being struck by lightning are greater than the odds of perishing in a plane crash, it still doesn't feel that way. Airplane crashes might be rare, but they do happen, and they’re usually fatal. David Soucie insists that most of these deaths could be prevented. He’s worked as a pilot, a mechanic, an FAA inspector, and an aviation executive. He’s seen death up close and personal - deaths of colleagues and friends that might have been prevented if he had approved certain safety measures in the aircrafts they were handling.

    LookoutSF says: "From the front lines of airplane safety"
    "From the front lines of airplane safety"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author was trained or worked as an airplane or helicopter mechanic for several years before getting into flight safety full time. He describes the evolution of his awareness of flight safety and also the background of airplane crashes in which we was on the investigative team. If you are interested in airline safety or safety in general, this will be of interest to you. He does name names and complain about people in the industry, so he will make some enemies. He also seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder, but, if you can ignore that, this will be a fascinating read or listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Godfather

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Mario Puzo
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (363)
    Story
    (366)

    More than 40 years ago, Mario Puzo wrote his iconic portrait of the Mafia underworld as told through the fictional first family of American crime, the Corleones. The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. His command post is a fortress on Long Island from which he presides over a vast underground empire that includes the rackets, gambling, bookmaking, and unions. His influence runs through all levels of American society, from the cop on the beat to the nation's mighty.

    Dana says: "Huge fan of the movie, loved this audiobook!"
    "The story everyone knows, only better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As most know, this is the story of the Corleone family, based on true Mafia stories. The main story revolves around Michael Corleone, who went to Dartmouth and planned never to get involved in the family business. It shows the force that led him to choose to go back into the life, why his wife, from a professional New England family decided to join him, and how many of those both in and out of the family were affected by these choices. By the second chapter, I was already watching the chapters go by, wishing it would never end. The narrator was great, allowing one to hear each character.

    Puzo was a great writer in the way he used time, the way he characterized people by their actions and words, telling just enough for the reader to draw their own conclusions.

    I lived in NJ in the sixties and knew of some of these events through the news and heard about the burials in NJ. Although this is fiction, there are thinly veiled references to real people that sometimes it makes one think about what was really happening. It will also make you think about influences on police, judges, and politicians. Every so often a case breaks out into the open, but probably there is much more graft than we ever learn about. It makes one think.

    It is also a great story and interesting on many levels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen Kinzer
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (586)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (209)

    In a cloak-and-dagger story of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents, Kinzer reveals the involvement of Eisenhower, Churchill, Kermit Roosevelt, and the CIA in Operation Ajax, which restored Mohammad Reza Shah to power. Reza imposed a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979 which, in turn, inspired fundamentalists throughout the Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists who thrived under its protection.

    amazonman says: "Fascinating & Insightful View of US/ Iran History"
    "Understand Iranian History better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book takes the listener through Iranian history, proposing that the roots of problems between the US and Iran started with the overthrow of the popular leader, Mossadegh. Mossadegh was the first democratically elected leader of Iran. He was both idealistic and unyielding. Mossadegh nationalized the oil fields run by the Anglo-Iranian corporation, a forerunner of BP. Although many in the West could not understand his unyielding stance on this issue, the author presents facts to show that Iran benefited little from the oil that was taken from it, making it at least partially rational to withhold oil until when and if Iranians could run the oil fields.

    Mossadegh was taken down by a coup led by the CIA, and initiated by the CIA agent, Roosevelt, grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt.

    The author is a writer for the NY Times. He investigates, as fairly as possible, the historical events for the events surrounding the coup and its aftermath. After listening to this book, I felt that I had a deeper, though still incomplete, understanding of Iran.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Hooman Majd
    • Narrated By Hooman Majd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (57)

    The grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, journalist Hooman Majd is uniquely qualified to explain contemporary Iran's complex and misunderstood culture to Western listeners. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ provides an intimate look at a paradoxical country that is both deeply religious and highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet informed by a history of democratic and reformist traditions.

    Ryan says: "An informative tour, with some biases"
    "Insight into the Iranian character and society"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is written by an Iranian-American who works as a journalist. His family seems to be well connected as it is through some of these connections that he is able to interview several high ranking officials. His social group (perhaps obviously) is that of the upper middle class to upper class as they generally seem out of sync with the present regime which is supported by those from (apparently) lower classes.

    These caveats aside, I found the descriptions of Iranian society, values, and cultural perceptions to be fascinating and feel that I now understand that country much better and that it would be enjoyable to visit. For those who have an interest in the Middle East or in Iran, this is certainly a worthwhile book and one that is likely to give more insight into how Iranians perceive the world than most other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth
    Overall
    (2180)
    Performance
    (2005)
    Story
    (1998)

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Emily - Audible says: "Colin Firth Kills It"
    "Meditation on love, life, mortality, meaning, God"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book initially seems to be the story of a love affair, which it is. But it is so much more than that as these two are caught up in a triangle that threatens a friendship and a marriage, affected by world events and impacted by religious beliefs and changing culture.

    It also beautifully shows how a couple (or couples) can have an affair, or a marriage, that has a unity, but then each of them has his or her own life that impacts the relationship, often in a way that the other does not understand and often misinterprets.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Take the Last Donut: New Rules of Business Etiquette

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Judith Bowman
    • Narrated By Deanna Hurst
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    In a recent survey, eight out of 10 Americans felt that a lack of respect and courtesy is a serious national problem. Four out of 10 admitted to behaving badly themselves. Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? Don't Take the Last Donut gives you the tools you need to be confident and letter-perfect in any business setting--from pitch to presentation, from networking to contract negotiations, and everything in between.

    urvois says: "loved it"
    "Finally figure out what you are supposed to do"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish I had this book 15 years ago. It is written for those working in business, in a conservative environment, but some people were actually taught this and, if you don't know the rules, then you will make inadvertent errors. I would recommend this for anyone working in a professional or business environment. You might not obey the rules all the time, but it is nice to know what they are. I've been around long enough to recognize that what she says is true in many environments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Round House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Gary Farmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (729)
    Story
    (728)

    One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

    Melinda says: "Heavy in My Heart"
    "Depends on your style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a bad book and it is very interesting in terms of learning about the culture of one of the Native groups (Chippewa, I believe). The narrator is a young teenager who reacts to the rape and almost murder of his mother. The writing is very good, but I was not too interested in the story and also have a hard time with stories that I perceive as showing a stereotyped view of women (as weak, serving roles in stories primarily as victims). There are some interesting minor female characters, but the primary roles of women in this story is to have something terrible happen to them and then the male figures have to react. Unfortunately, this view has become so dominant in our literature that even highly rated female authors fall for it. In contrast, the women that I see in every day life are brave and struggle with many issues of meaning, spirituality, goals, etc.

    I also had difficulty with the narrator's style but listened to this right after listening to "Sense of the Ending" which has one of the best narrators ever. After a while, either I got used to it or he got into the flow better.

    Many people love this book and my tastes are different than many, so see what I like or don't to see if this review applies to you.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (411)
    Story
    (415)

    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor, and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

    Ryan says: "The mutability of afterimages"
    "Wonderful Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is about all the ambiguities of life, of memory, of meaning in life. It is the kind of book that many say they need to read (listen to) twice. I did go back and listen to the beginning and will probably buy the print copy.

    That said, it is worth it to buy the audio version because the reader, who was an award-winning actor, gives it something extra.

    The first half of the story recounts various events from the narrator's life. In the second half, a former girlfriend and a document from his earlier life reappear. The former GF and he also share new events. The narrator then needs to reassess the meaning (or even veracity) of events as he remembered them against the new perspectives of an older person with evidence that these events did not really occur in the way he remembered.

    This reminds me of Kundera and of Remains of the Day. If you liked those, you will probably like this. Otherwise, consider carefully. This book is not for everyone. If you prefer a strongly plotted novel, this may not be your cup of tea (or coffee for Americans).

    The sad thing is to learn that the narrator has died.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (904)
    Performance
    (784)
    Story
    (789)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "Unusual story and informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Orphan Master's Son again? Why?

    This is a very unusual book that tells the story of a young man, from his start as an apparent orphan, though his manhood while living in North Korea where the political environment causes an altered reality. What is said is not true, but no one can discuss the truth. There are several narrators, all are unreliable. Along the way, one learns quite a bit about North Korea, at least what can be learned by one living outside that country.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well written


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Some characters have foreign accents, presumably Korean and this is problematic for some listeners, though I found it added to the authenticity of the book.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Orphan Master's Son and why?

    The lead character was the most memorable, but several others are unusual and interesting, such as the torturer. Evil people are not usually sympathetically portrayed, especially from their point of view and without excuses (for instance, there was no suggestion that this character had a bad childhood, at least in North Korean terms).


    Any additional comments?

    Listening to this book will help the listener understand current events in North Korea better. You will not forget this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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